January 24, 2008

Another "Famous" Coffey Bites the Dust

Click on the title link to read a current news article about Shannon Todd Coffey of Kingsport, TN.

January 18, 2008

The Will of Nancy R. Monroe Coffey

Peter C. Coffey was the son of Edmund and Elizabeth Burgher Coffey, and was born c1802 in Nelson Co., VA.

I Nancy R. Coffey, wife of Peter C. Coffey, being of disposing mind and memory, do make, ordain, and declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all previous wills, testaments and codicils of every description whatsoever. I leave to my Executor, named in this will, all of my personal and real property upon the following trusts and for no other purpose whatsoever, namely -

1st. I direct that my Executor - (with the exception of a good bed and bedding, and a horse known as "the Blue Horse" and called "Barny," the title to both of which I desire that shall be held in trust, but the possession of which I desire to be turned over to my husband Peter C. Coffey) sell all of my personal property, and at this discretion as to suitable time. My whole real estate paying first all just debts that may be justly chargeable against me or my estate.

2nd. Out of the proceeds of the sale of my property, I direct that my Executor apply such amount to the comfortable support of my husband Peter C. Coffey as the court may deem sufficient. The remainder to be invested by my said Executor in Richmond City Bonds. The interest as well as the principal under the guidance of the court to be subjected to the support and suitable maintenance of my said husband as far as _____ - the remainder to continue in trust.

3rd. If not inconsistent with the above support of my husband after all debts above indicated are paid, I direct that my Executor pay as soon as practical after my death to my faithful servants Elizabeth Brown the sum of twenty dollars, and to William Monroe fifteen dollars current money of the United States, and in any court. I direct that my said Executor shall each ____ charge against my estate the sum of twenty dollars for the said Elizabeth Brown and fifteen dollars for the said William, the said annual charges to continue at interest against the trust fund, and at the death of the said Peter C. Coffey, my husband, the said charges annually made with accumulated interest to be paid over in fee simple to the said Elizabeth Brown, and the said William Monroe respectively or to their heirs.

4th. All the rest and residue of my property thus placed in trust, that may be remaining at the death of the aforesaid Peter C. Coffey and after the above requirements are complied with, and the funeral expenses of Peter C. Coffey are paid out of the same, I direct my Executor to convey by proper instrument of writing to such officer, officers, trustee, or trustees, as may be designated by the authorities of the "Church House" of the City of Richmond Virginia (an organization, institution __ _____ recently established by the Protestant Episcopal Church or portion of such community in the city of Richmond Virginia) as proper to receive the same, to the end that the aforesaid remainder of the trust from my estate may continue forever as an interest bearing fund and in trust for the benefit of the said "Church House" aforesaid.

5th. I hereby appoint James L. Hubard of the County of Nelson Virginia my executor and request that he execute the trusts of this will.

6th. This will has been written at my usual place of residence in the County of Nelson. Witness my hand and seal this twenty third day of January eighteen hundred and seventy seven. Jan 23rd 1877 -

Nancy R. Coffey (Seal)

This is to certify that the above will was duly acknowledged to us by the Testatrix in accordance with law. We being present at the same time and in the presence of each other.

25th day of January 1877.

C. N. Patteson x
John H. Hight x


In Nelson County Court Jany 22, 1883. This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will & testament of Nancy R. Coffey decd, was this day produced into Court and partly proved by the oath of John H Hight one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be held for further proof - and in Nelson County Court Feby 26th 1883. This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Nancy R. Coffey, was this day again produced into Court for further proof and was thereupon fully proved by the oath of C. N. Patteson the other subscribing witness thereto, and thereupon ordered to be recorded as the true last will and testament of said Nancy R. Coffey decd, and on the motion of James L. Hubard the Executor therein named, who made oath as the law directs, entered into bond in the penalty of $4000.00 conditioned according to law, with T. P. Fitzpatrick his security therein, who justified as to his sufficiency, and which said bond being acknowledged by the obligation therein is ordered to be recorded. Certificate is granted the said James L. Hubard for obtaining probate of said will in due form.

Teste W. M. Hill, Clk


Source: Nelson Co., VA Will Book N, Page 246

January 14, 2008

Dell Carlton and Mary Jane Bodenhamer Coffey

Dell was the third of 12 children and third son of William Luther and Mary Salome Moretz Coffey. He was born Jul. 1, 1875 in Watauga Co., and died there on Jun. 4, 1963. Mary Jane was born Apr. 18, 1876 in Yadkin Co., NC and died in Watauga Co. on Nov. 7, 1964. She and Dell were married in Big Hill, Watauga Co. on Nov. 6, 1895. Both are buried at the Old Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church Cemetery in Watauga Co.

The union of Dell and Mary produced 13 children between Oct., 1896 and Oct., 1920. Five of those children were lost before age 10. Seven of them lived an average life span of 82 years. Three of those seven lived more than 90 years with one living to age 98. One child is still living.

The obituary of their ninth child and fifth son Paul Alfred, appeared today in The Watauga Democrat, Boone, NC.

Mr. Paul Alfred Coffey, 98, of 1900 Hillsmere Lane, Staunton, Va., formerly of Boone, N.C., died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008, at Loyalton of Staunton.

He was born Dec. 30, 1909 in Watauga County, a son of the late Dell C. and Mary Bodenhamer Coffey.

Mr. Coffey was a member of Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church, and was a farmer. Survivors include one sister, Anna Belle Norris of Salisbury; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by six brothers and five sisters.

Graveside services and burial was conducted Sunday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2008, at 3 o’clock at the Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church Cemetery.

The family received friends Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m. at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6411 Middlebrook Road, Middlebrook, VA 24459; or to the Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, in care of George Winebarger, 1767 Burkett Road, Boone, N.C. 28607.
Henry Funeral Home, Inc., in Staunton, Va., and Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Coffey family.
Their other children were:

Robert Leroy, born Oct. 28, 1896, died May 13, 1974. He was married on Jul. 14, 1920 to Bertie Blanche Walls, born Sep. 13, 1904, died Feb. 22, 1979. They had at least six children: Wade Leroy, Hattie Mae, William Franklin, Frances Viola, Agnes Ruth, and Vera Lee.

Ora Estella, born Aug. 1, 1898, died Nov. 27, 1985. She was married to James Stewart Barnes on Feb. 13, 1924. He was born Sep. 25, 1894 and died Mar. 20, 1965. They had at least four children: James Andrew, Mary Elizabeth, one unnamed daughter and, Rebecca Ann.

Mrs. Estella Coffey Barnes, 87, of Route 2, Boone, died Wednesday morning, Nov.27, at her home. Mrs. Barnes was born Aug. 1, 1898 in Watauga County to Dell Calvin and Mary Jane Bodenhamer. She was the wife of the late Stewart James Barnes. Mrs. Barnes was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church and had attended the Perkinsville Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school for a number of years. She was employed for many years as the first secretary of the Appalachian Normal School, which later became Appalachian State University. She was a long time hand-weaving crafts person and was a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Richards, Mrs. Betty Elliott, and Mrs. Rebecca Miller, all of Boone; one son, James A. Barnes of Winston-Salem; one sister, Mrs. Anna Belle Norris of Kannapolis; three brothers, Ira Coffey of Buckingham, Va., Paul Coffey of Middlebrook, Va., Glenn Coffey of Boone; and 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.

Services were conducted today at 2 p.m. at the Perkinsville Baptist Church, officiated by the Rev. Jim Russell, the Rev. Bob Young, and the Rev. Bob Barlow. Burial followed at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors in Boone were in charge of the arrangements.
William Edgar, born Feb. 5, 1900, died Oct. 3, 1906

Mamie, born Nov. 15, 1901, died Dec. 22, 1901

Emma Edith, born Nov. 11, 1902, died Dec. 19, 1902

Addie Lee, born Jan. 10, 1904, died Feb. 14, 1964. She married Lynman Paul Norris on Mar. 16, 1928. He was born c1900 and died Mar. 3, 1936. They had at least three children: Kay Phyllis, Wanda Delrey and Stanley Paul.

David Glenn, born Feb. 27, 1906, died Apr. 17, 1996. He was married on Aug. 14, 1933 to Reba Wynn [?] Jones. She was born Aug. 17, 1917 and died Apr. 8, 2002. They had at least four children: Billy Glenn, Janet Maxine, James Howard and Mary Lorene.

His obituary appeared in The Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., April 19, 1996
Mr. David Glenn Coffey, 90, of 110 Burkett Road, Route 2, Boone, died Wednesday night, April 17, in Morganton.

He was born Feb. 27, 1906, in Watauga County, a son of the late Dell and Mary Bodenhamer Coffey. He retired from the security department of Appalachian State University after 18 years of service and was a member of Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Reba Jone [sic] Coffey; three sons, Billy Coffey and his wife, Sandy, of Powell, Tenn., James Howard Coffey and his wife, Janice, and Joe L. Coffey and his wife, Joyce, all of Clemmons; two daughters, Mrs. Maxine McGuire and her husband, Tom, of Kansas City, Missouri and Mrs. Lorene Williams and her husband, Ted, of Kingsport, Tenn.; two brothers, Ira Coffey of Buckingham, Va., and Paul Coffey of Middlebrook, Va.; one sister, Mrs. Anna Belle Norris of Kannapolis. Ten grandchildren, 11 greatpgrandchildren, two step-grandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews also survive.

He was preceded in death by nine brothers and sisters, and a granddaughter, Miss Janet Lee Coffey.

Services will be Saturday at 2:00 o'clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state from 12:30 until 2 p.m. Officiating will be the Rev. Harwood Smith. Burial will follow in the Old Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Ira Calton, born Jul. 15, 1908, died Jan. 30, 2000 in Buckingham Co., VA. He married Mary Ruth Bradshaw of Bluff City, Sullivan Co., TN. No further information.

Paul Alfred, born Dec. 30, 1909, died Jan. 10, 2008 (See obituary above; he apparently never married)

Walter Murray, born Jul. 22, 1912,died Mar. 3, 1985. He married Mary Cleo Proffitt on Dec. 22, 1938. She was born Feb. 16, 1916 and died Sep. 14, 1989. Their children were Nancy Louise, Kent William, one unnamed daughter, and Jane Elizabeth.

Anna Belle, born Jan. 28, 1915, married Dale Cloyd Norris on Jul. 23, 1939. He died Dec. 2, 2007 in Salisbury, Rowan Co., NC. Their children were Gary, Mickey Alan, and Daniel lee.

Ray Albert, born Sep. 20, 1918, died Oct. 29, 1928

Viola Mary, born Oct. 31, 1920, died Mar. 20, 1921

All of the children were born in Watauga Co. It appears that all of the known deceased, with the exception of Ora Estella and Ira Calton are buried with their parents at Old Mt. Pleasant. Ora is buried at Mt. Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens in Boone. I am not sure where Ira is buried; perhaps in Buckingham Co., VA.

The Norris spouses were children of Millard Harrison and Ida Delrea [Del Rea?] Davis Norris. Their daughter, Marion Edna Norris married William Leon Coffey, another son of William Luther and Mary Moretz Coffey.

Please contact me at the e-mail address above to add to or correct any of this information.

January 13, 2008

Virgil Coffee

Virgil Coffey
Coffey Cousins lost a dear and great friend today.

Virgil Coffee died this morning at about 7:30MST in Albuquerque, NM where he lived with his son Dale and his family. Another son, Ed Coffee of Dale City, VA also survives. There are other children and grandchildren who survive but I do not know all of them. Ed is current "president" of Coffey Cousins'.

Anyone who ever met Virgil at one of the Coffey Cousins' reunions knows how knowledgeable he was about his genealogy. He could recite more lineages from memory than most people can store on computers.

Arrangements were incomplete when I spoke to the family this afternoon.

I have expressed my condolences to the family and have notified those Coffey Cousins' for whom I have an e-mail address. Please forward a link to this entry to anyone who you believe may have known Virgil, and who may not know about his death.

Please keep Virgil and his family in your prayers!

Obituary:

Virgil Oren Coffee, 94, of McIntosh, passed away January 13, 2008, at the home of his son Dale in Rio Rancho. Born October 5, 1913, in Hugo, Oklahoma, to James Carroll and Lelia Jane Kendrick Coffee. He was the fourth of their six children.

Virgil lived in Hugo and attended public schools there. During the late 1920's and early 1930's he worked a variety of agriculture related jobs until he finally became a short-order cook. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps as a cook in camps in California. In 1935 he enlisted in the United States Army; becoming an officer during World War II. He served in the Medical Service Corps performing medical evacuation during combat operations in Europe. When conflict began in Korea in 1950 he saw action again as an officer conducting medical evacuation during combat operations. He retired from the Army in 1956, with the rank of Major, while serving as medical supply officer of the station hospital, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. After working for the New Mexico National Guard in supply operations in the late 1950's, he worked as a weapons management specialist for the Defense Nuclear Agency in Albuquerque, 1960-73. During this period he was detached to work with the State Department's AID mission in Vietnam, 1967-68. He was in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.

Virgil married a young widow, Iva Fern Wingfield Green, June 3, 1938, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They had seven children. The family lived in California, Arizona, New Mexico (Alamogordo), Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico (Albuquerque, 1953-61; McIntosh, 1961-2008).

Virgil was predeceased by his parents; his wife; one son, Daniel Lee Coffee; one great-grandson, Damon Coffee; two brothers, Robert Lee and James Haskell Coffee; and two sisters, Margaret and Nadine Coffee.

He is survived by three sons, Edwin Russell Coffee and wife Phyllis of Woodbridge, VA; Virgil Oren Coffee, Jr. of Albuquerque; Dale Scott Coffee and wife Nola of Rio Rancho; three daughters, Iva Fern Barclay and husband Ernest of Moriarity; Barbara Jean Gonzales and husband Tommy of Blue Water Lake; Patricia Laverne Britt of Odessa, Texas; brother Edwin Russell Coffee of Bakersfield, California; sixteen grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

January 11, 2008

Abram and Mahala Cantwell Parris

Abram and Mahala May Cantwell Parris were parents of 12 children, two of which married into the Coffey family.

Abram (Abraham in the 1900 census) was born in Oct., 1826 in the Spartenburg district of SC. He died Apr. 16, 1915 in Missouri. Mahala May was born Jan. 22, 1830 in the Spartenburg district and died Sep. 23, 1909 in Grainger Co., TN. According to one source1, Abram went to MO to live with some of his children with a promise that upon his death he be returned to Grainger county to be buried with Mahala.

We know that Abram served the Confederacy during the Civil War. What isn't clear is which unit. Some genealogies that I have seen place him in Co. K, 16th NC Inf. Regt. However, there was also an Abram Parris who enlisted in Co. M, 7th Bn. Reserves Inf. Regt., in SC. I haven't researched enough to know which is accurate.

In 1860 the family lived in NC so the one who enlisted in Co. K is likely the one of interest here. The census for that year places them in Cooper Gap, Polk Co., NC. By 1870 they were in Grainger Co., TN and in 1880 in Claiborne Co. The family remained in that county until sometime after 1910. Abram the widower was found there in the 1910 household with his daughter Mahala Samantha Parris Cope.

An extract of the 1900 census:

1900 Claiborne Co., ED8, Sheet 15B, dwelling 168, family 270, Paris [sic], Abraham, head, white male, born Oct., 1826, age 73, married 52 yrs., born SC, parents born SC, farmer; Mahala, wife, white female, born Jan., 1830, age 70, married 52 yrs., mother of 12, 9 living, born SC, parents born SC; West, Allen, servant, white male, born Jan. 1879, age 21, married 3 yrs., born TN, parents born TN, farm laborer; West, Liddie E., servant, white female, born Jun., 1879, age 20, married 3 yrs., mother of none, born TN, parents born TN, house keeper; Milligan, Hobart, g-son, white male, born Dec., 1896, age 3, born TN, parents born TN


Both he and Mahala are buried in the Condry [Cope] Cemetery2 in Grainger Co.

The two daughters who married into the Coffey family were:

Dorcus Elizabeth, first born and eldest daughter, was born Oct, 30, 1847, died May 7, 1927. She married John Jackson "Stumpy" Coffey, Jr., c1868 in TN. John was born May 26, 1845 in Grainger Co., and died there on May 10, 1929. Both are buried at McGinnis-Harrell Cemetery3 in Grainger Co.

I have four children born to this family: Mary Elizabeth, born Dec. 4, 1868; Etta Elsie, born Jun. 12, 1870; William Lemmie, born Mar. 22, 1872, died Dec. 21, 1932 in Washburn, Grainger Co.; and John Landrum, born Oct. 22, 1874, died Jul. 16, 1909.

- William Lemmie married Caroline Hopson, a daughter of Jesse and Julia Ritter Hopson. She was born May 1, 1875 in Thorn Hill and died Aug. 28, 1945 in Pontiac, Oakland Co., MI. Both are buried at McGinnis-Harrell.

Their children were: William Tarrance; Maude Delia; Parlin John; Amanda Elizabeth; James Nelson; and Julia Isabell.

- John Landrum married Mollie E. Condry on Oct. 7, 1891 in Grainger Co. She was born Feb. 28, 1876 in Grainger Co., and died Sep. 24, 1953 in Morristown, Hamblen Co., TN. Although John is buried in the Condry [Cope] cemetery, Molly was apparently buried in the Jarnigan Cemetery in Morristown.

Their children were: John Zolley; Myrtle E.; James Henderson; Jesse Morris; and Carrie Mae.

Abram and Mahala's third born and third daughter was Sarah Emily Ann. She was born Oct. 20, 1852 in TN and died Aug. 3, 1905 in Thorn Hill. She married Colby C. Coffey, a brother to Stumpy. I haven't found a marriage date but estimate c1870.

Their children were: John Alfred; Cora; James Orlander; Mary; Nelson; Dillard D.; and Della.

I have some descendants of the children of Colby and Sarah as well as Dorcas and John.

A son of Colby, James Orlander Coffey, James Orlander Coffeymarried Orlena Cope c1898. They had at least eight children, the youngest of which was James Carson, born Apr. 9, 1918, and who died on Jan. 8, 2008 at the age of 89. I found his obituary this morning in the Middletown Journal, Middletown, OH:

James Carson CoffeyCOFFEY, James Carson Age 89, of Middletown went to be with the Lord at Atrium Medical Center on Tuesday, January 8, 2008. James was born on April 9, 1918 in Tazwell, TN, the son of Orlando and Orleana Coffey. The youngest of eight children, James was a veteran of the United States Army during WW II. He was an assembly worker for General Motors for 20 years, retiring in 1980. James attended Towne Blvd. Church of God. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers General, Emmet and Paris Coffey; sisters Lillie Dalton, Ella Carpenter, Delta Coffey and Elsie Jaynes. James is survived by Beulah Seal Coffey, his devoted wife of 64 years; daughter Mary Hall and husband John; son Tony Coffey and wife Faith with grandson Carson Coffey. Visitation will be Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:00-8:00 at Baker-Stevens Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life Service will be Friday, January 11, 2008 at 10:30 am also at the Funeral Home. Interment will be at Woodhill Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.baker-stevens.com.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address with additions and/or corrections.








1Claiborne County Historical Society, compiler, The People's History of Claiborne County, Tennessee 1801-1988 (: Claiborne Co. Historical Society, 1999, Second Printing)

2There are at least two cemeteries with the name Condry. One is located off Hwy 131W on Hayes Mountain Lane, and almost due west of Thorn HIll. The other is found off Condry Bend at 36:22:18N, 083:29:29W more or less NW of Thorn Hill, near Beech Grove

3This cemetery is located off of Campground Road, west of Thorn Hill.

January 8, 2008

Squire Coffey

Squire Coffey, born c1803 in Burke Co., NC, was a son of Smith Coffey and Hannah Boone. One genealogy that I have seen indicates that he married Nancy Moore on Dec. 29, 1824 in Burke Co. Nancy, is it said, was born Jan. 13, 1806 in Caldwell Co., and died there in 1826. Apparently there were no live children born to their union.

A Burke Co. marriage bond by Daniel Moore - perhaps some kin to Nancy - shows the marriage of Squire on Dec. 29, 1824 to Nancy. A History of Watauga County and, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868 show that Squire married Alley Webb with bond dated Oct. 2, 1828 in Burke Co. Daniel Moore was a witness. Another genealogy report submitted by Charles Crabtree for inclusion in the Edward Coffey Project contains this information:

Smith W. Coffey's father, Squire Coffey was born about 1802\3 in Burke County North Carolina and died after 1840 in Cherokee County North Carolina, reportedly buried in the Peachtree Cemetery in the same county.

Squire and Alley (Ella?) had at least four children:

Margaret, born c1833, died May, 29, 1899. Margaret married Joseph Baker c1835 in North Carolina. I have found only two children for them: William, born c1847 and Mary, born c1849.

Smith, born May 1832, died Jan. 11, 1916.

Henry, born c1837 in Burke Co. He married Elizabeth Kendall, a daughter of William and Sarah D. Kendall around 1860. Elizabeth was born c1847 in North Carolina. Henry apparently died before 1870 - perhaps in the Civil War - because Elizabeth appears in the 1870 census with her parents in Caldwell Co. With her was her daughter, Laura, born in Aug., 1861.

I have one other child for Squire and Alley. She was Mary, born c1838 but I have not found her after 1850 when she was in the household with her widowed mother in Caldwell Co.

Squire died after 1840 and is thought to be buried somewhere in Cherokee Co., NC. I have not yet found a death date or place for Alley.

Please contact me with additions or corrections.

Smith W. and Charity Elizabeth Redmond Coffey

Some time ago I wrote about Smith and Elizabeth and wondered if her name was Charity Elizabeth. Besides census information, another researcher has confirmed to me that her name was indeed Charity Elizabeth.

Smith was born May, 1832 in Burke Co., NC and died Jan. 11, 1916 in Carter Co., TN. Charity was born Jun. 25, 1836 in Caldwell Co., and died May 20, 1912, perhaps in Carter Co., or Caldwell Co., NC. They were married in Caldwell Co. on Jun. 25, 1854.

Both are buried in the Coffey Cemetery at Shulls Mills in Watauga Co., NC. That cemetery is located on the Old Turnpike Road, NC road 1568, near the Hounds Ears Club at Shulls Mill. For GPS users, I have those coordinates as N:36:10:40, W:081:44:43.

In 1850 Smith was still in the household with his widowed mother, Ella or Alley Webb Coffey. After he married Charity they remained in Caldwell Co. for awhile then relocated to Cherokee Co. where they are found in the 1860 census. In 1861 Smith entered the Civil War on the Confederate side when he enlisted in Co. A, 2nd Cav. Regt., NC.

I do not know when he was released, and have not found the family in the 1870 census. By 1880 they were back in Watauga Co where I believe they remained until after the 1910 census when they relocated to Carter Co. Charity is thought to have died in NC so Smith may have moved to Carter Co. to be near or, perhaps to live with one of his children. In any event, he was returned to Watauga Co. and his final resting place.

There were at least nine children born to Smith and Charity.

- Emma Irene, born Oct., 1855. She married James Cozart, born c1864 in NC. Children born to Emma and James were: Thomas; Walter Smith; Mary Etta; Charles L.; Luna Maggie; James Hill; Henry B.; and Nancy Elizabeth.

- Thomas Clingman, born Nov. 17, 1858 in Caldwell Co., and died Feb., 1932 in NC. He married
his cousin, Margaret Coffey on Mar. 28, 1875 in Caldwell Co. Margaret was the daughter of William Coffey, Jr., and Margaret Robbins. Margaret and Thomas has at least four children: Lula V., born Jul. 1883; Finley Houck, born Aug. 22, 1886; Jesse C., born Dec. 15, 1890, died Jan. 22, 1982; and Margaret Elizabeth, born Aug., 1893. Lula had at least two children whose father is not named in the birth record: Collis Hill, born 1904, died 1975; and Jessie M., born c1912.

Finley married Effie Turnmire and has at least 10 children. Jessie married Martha Hawkins and had at least two children: Ruth J., born c1920 and Jesse Alvis, born Aug. 26, 1926, died Apr. 17, 1972. Margaret Elizabeth married a distant cousin, James Franklin Coffey, a son of Elijah and Caroline Dobbins Coffey.

- William M. Coffey, born Mar. 15, 1861 in NC, died Jun. 28, 1928. He married Emma Coffey, a distant cousin and daughter of Levi and Temperance Calloway Coffey. William and Mary had at least three children: Hardie Lee, born Apr. 14, 1884, died Jan. 29, 1937; William Cloyd, born Oct., 1886, died May 28, 1950; and Myrtle Virginia, born Jun,, 3, 1893. Hardy married his distant cousin, Anna Elizabeth Coffey, a daughter of George Calvin and Louisa Curtis Coffey. They had at least two children: Carlos Dean, born 1911 and Beulah, born 1914. William Cloyd married Ella Belle Honeycutt on mar. 15, 1908 in Watauga Co. Ella was born c1892 in NC and died Dec. 18, 1978 in Hickory, Catawba Co., NC. Their children were: Bertha Mae, born Jan. 28, 1909, died Jul. 17, 1993; Cora Lee, born May 25, 1911; and William Frank, born Sep. 14, 1915.

- Mary Ella, born Oct, 1865, married Levi L. Coffey, a son of Elisha Coffey and Anna Harmon Moody. Mary Ella and Levi were married Jan. 1, 1892 in Watauga Co. I have only one child for them, Henry Olivar, born Jul. 25, 1889. Henry married Zettie Chloe Honeycutt on Mar. 23, 1913 in Watauga Co. Zettie may be related to Ella Belle, wife of William Cloyd (above) but, I have not looked.

- Margaret V. (Virginia?), born c1867 in NC, married John L. Mays, a son of John Larkin Mays and Nancy Jane Cozart.  Again, there is likely some relation between Nancy Jane and James who married Emma Irene, but I have not looked. Margaret and John had at least one child, James Thomas, born Apr. 29, 1894.

Virginia Brown
Virginia Brown


Henry Boone Coffey
Henry Boone Coffey
- Henry Boone, born Jun. 20, 1872 in NC, died Sep. 16, 1938 in Watauga Co. He married Virginia Frances (Jennie) Brown on Oct. 8, 1905 in Watauga Co. Jennie had been previously married to Leroy Starnes (no known children) . Her second husband was Archie Coffey, a son of Levi and Temperance Calloway Coffey. Henry was her third marriage. She had at least one child by Archie, Paul Arch, born Aug. 30, 1901, died Mar. 25, 1957. Children by Henry were Ray Plez, born 1907, died 1960; Beatrice Franced, born 1908, died 1995; Lillian Jessie, born 1910, died 1988; and Glenn Hinkle, born 1918.

- Charles (Charlie), born Aug. 20, 1872 in Watauga Co., and died there on Dec. 21, 1944. He married Saphronia Phills on Nov. 5, 1893 in Watauga Co. She was born Oct. 6, 1870 in Ashe Co., NC and died Apr. 30, 1928 in Caldwell Co. Their children were nine: Vance Stevenson, born 1894, died 1967; Ruia Ellen, born 1896, died 1924; Lillie Emmaline, born 1899, died 1988; Arthur Edward, born 1901, died 1025; Charles Frederick, born 1903, died 1981; Parker Olton (Alton?), born 1905, died 1979; Nancy Marie, born 1908, died 1928; Alverda Caudis, born 1910, died 1992; and Addie Berthella, born 1913.

- Susie Annie, born c1875 in NC, married William Henderson Calloway or Halloway. No other information.

- Lee Nelson, born Jun. 10, 1878 in NC, died Aug. 23, 1960 in NC. He married another of the Honeycutt girls, Ada B., born c1877. I know of only one child, Stewart Horton, born Jan. 6, 1908, died Jan. 23, 1990.

I have more ancestral as well as descendant information for some of this family.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address to add to or correct any of this information.

January 6, 2008

Ellis Empsey Marshall Coffey


In this photo, L-R, is: Herman Herbert Coffey, born Apr. 3, 1902, died c1919; Ellis Empsey Coffey, and Josie Ella Coffey, children of Henry and Sarah Jane.

I have previously written about the parents of Ellis, Henry Kelly (Caleb) and Sarah Jane Gragg Coffey. Ellis was the seventh of 10 children of Henry and Sarah, and was born Sep. 18, 1895 in the Globe township of Caldwell Co., NC.

Ellis married Zora Alice Phillips (marriage date not found, but probably c1920). She was born Dec. 8, 1896 in Ashe Co., NC and died Dec. 24, 1928 in Watauga Co. Her death occurred just about eight months following the birth of Edna Faye, leaving Ellis alone with five children, all under seven years. Zora was buried at Brown's Chapel in Watauga Co.

Sometime shortly after Zora's death he married Hettie Taylor, born Mar. 7, 1907, died Jul. 29, 1972. She is also buried at Browns Chapel.

There were three known children born to this union: John Thomas, born Mar. 4, 1933; Dorothy Louise, born May 1, 1937; and Dan Graham, born Apr. 13, 1939.

The birth record for the first child gives Hettie's surname as Taylor. The records of the next two gives her name as Hettie Harrison. She may have been previously married.

I did find a birth record for a male child born to Hettie Taylor and Ellis Harrison in 1933. This is likely a name entry error because their son John Thomas, was born that year. The given name Ellis for Mr. Harrison is also a bit too coincidental.

Ellis died Apr. 7, 1965 in Watauga Co. His headstone reveals that he was a WW1 veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart medal.

Ellis and Zora were parents of at least five children:

Arthur Henry, born Feb. 8, 1921, died Jul. 16, 1993 in Jefferson Davis Parish, La. In 1930 he was still living with his parents in Watauga Co. I have no further information.

Herman Eugene, born Jun. 20, 1922 in Watauga Co., died Mar. 6, 1989 in Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., NC. He married Sally Kate Greer (marriage date not found, but probably late 1940s). Together they were the parents of at least three children: Sam Curtis Coffey, born Oct. 10, 1950; William Ellis Coffey, born Oct. 27, 1952; and Martha Jean Coffey, born Jul. 24, 1957, all in Watauga Co. Sally Kate was the daughter of Arnet and Hazel Snow Eggers Greer and was born Jul. 24, 1930 in Watauga Co.

Twins Ida Mae and Ella May, born Mar. 1, 1924. [Larry Williams, in an e-mail on Nov. 7, 2010, informed me that Ida and Ella were the same person: "Mama disliked Ila (or Ida) so much that when she was grown she listed her name as Ella."

Edna Faye, born Apr. 20, 1928. Edna married Quinton Jones Wheeler on Dec. 6, 1947 in Watauga Co. I have found only one child for them: Mary Adinia Wheeler, born Jul. 17, 1950 in Watauga Co.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address to add to or correct any of this information.

Photos courtesy Mary Ann Sherfey Westerman

January 5, 2008

Recent Updates at Coffey Cousins'

I recently updated the Edward Coffey Project. Those files can be viewed here.

Reams Goodloe also forwarded his most recent index to the Coffey Cousins' newsletter. It is complete through issue 107 and can be seen here.

The index is a VERY large file and will take a couple of minutes to download; longer over a dial-up connection.

If you find something of interest in the index, you can order back issues of the newsletter from editor Bonnie Culley at bculey@embarqmail.com. At the end of each line in the index are two numbers. The first represents the volume number, the second is the page number. You will need these numbers to order the copies.

If you just want to browse the new Coffey Cousins' website, click on the link at the bottom of this page.

January 4, 2008

Hazel Evelyn Barnett Coffey

Hazel, born Jan. 29, 1912 in Leavenworth, KS died Jan. 2, 2008 at the Golden Living Center in Edwardsville, KS. She was the daughter of Harvey and Louella Mae Kimball Barnett. She was married on Sep. 5, 1933 to Walter Michael Coffey.

Please contact me if you know anything about Walter Michael Coffey and who his parents were.

Update Jan. 6, 2008:

I found Walter in the 1930 Leavenworth, KS census where he was a lodger in a boarding house and employed as a baker. He was 21 years old. Hazel, age 18, was still in her mother's home in Leavenworth.

I found Walter in Leavenworth in 1920 in the household with his widower father, James. James was born in Kansas in about 1849. He reported that his father and mother were born in Ireland.

Update Sep. 18, 2009

Hazel's obituary and photo have disappeared from the Leavenworth Times website. Please contact me if you have either and would like to share.

January 1, 2008

Asbury Coffey

Update 2-29-2012:  I have been unable to determine who the Asbury (var.) Coffey was who married Malinda Rash or Sarah Winkler.  I believe these families were mostly Burke Co. natives and perhaps not related to the James Asbury Coffey who married Chany Gragg.  As a result, I have removed the Coffey-Rash-Winkler family from the Edward Coffey Project until I can accurately determine who they are.


James Asbury died in ca April, 1866 leaving a widow, Chaney [sic] and four minor children; e.g., Leroy (Levy?), Mary, Martha and Henry, "...infants and heirs at law of the said Jas. L. [sic] Coffee [sic].

In an action brought before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in the April 1866 session, Chaney declared that her husband died intestate in Caldwell Co., "seized & possessed of one tract of land lying in our said county whereon he formerly lived on the waters of Johns River adjoining the land of Daniel Moore & others..."  She claimed that she was entitled to the land by dower.  She also asked that a guardian ad litem be appointed to represent the interest of the children.

In Sept. of 1866 she was allotted what appears to me to be the entire household, including farming equipment, crops and animals.  I haven't found a document specifically granting her the real estate.










I believe the Asbury Coffey in the census records below might be James Asbury son of Thomas Coffey, Jr and Nancy Pendley. If I am correct, then he and the Marvel Coffey living next door to Nancy and Asbury in 1850 are first cousins.

The James Asbury that I have as Marvel's cousin was married in 1858* to Chainey Gragg1, the daughter of Enoch and Rebecca Estes Gragg, in the Globe Twp., Caldwell Co. They had at least four children: William, born Jan., 1859; Mary Louise, born Nov., 1859; Henry Kelly (Caleb), born Aug., 1861; and Martha R., born Aug., 1861. If, as the two census records indicate, he was born in 1830 then it is likely that he was married at least once before Chainey.


The kicker in all of this is that a James Asbury Coffey enlisted in Co. F., 26th NC Troops in Caldwell Co. on Mar. 20, 1862 and, died c1866.2


Chainey's death record** gives her name as Mrs. Chaney Davis and her parents as Enoch and Beckey Estes. She married Alexander Davis on Sep. 13, 1865*** indicating that she and Asbury apparently divorced sometime prior to that, giving him the opportunity to marry again and father the children listed in the 1880 census.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address if you can positively identify him or, can provide additional information that might place him him in the correct family.

Jun 3, 1880
ED208, Page 4
Mulberry, Wilkes Co., NC
dwelling 43/family 46

Coffey, Asberry, white male, age 50, married, farmer, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Sarah, white female, age 38, wife, married, keeping house, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, William, white male, age 17, son, single, works on farm, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Mary, white female, age 13, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Martha C., white female, age 11, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Racheal L. [?], white female, age 5, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Laura E., white female, age 3, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC


Sep. 4, 1850
Kings Creek District
Caldwell Co., NC
dwelling 606/family 607

Marvel Coffey, age 30, male, white, farmer, $600, born NC
Nancy Coffey, age 30, female, white, born NC
Granville, age 5, male, born NC
Laura, age 2, female, born NC
Mary, age 11 mos., born NC
James Coffey, age 78, male, born VA

dwelling 607/family 608

Nancy Coffey, age 50, female, born NC
Asbury Coffey, age 19, male, born NC




1 Chaney is said to have had a child in 1857 out of wedlock, fathered by Elisha Gragg
2 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, 26th NCT [http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/soldiers.cfm]
* Caldwell Co. Marriage Records, Book 1, Page 249
** Caldwell Co. Death Records, Book 10, Page 17
***North Carolina Marriages, 1741-2004

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